I never place much importance on traditional English New Year celebrations, and as I’ve grown older, I’ve found I’ve stopped staying up to hear the ship horns blasting at 00:00 from Ipswich docks, and will now gladly go to bed before 10 o’clock if there aren’t any decent films on TV. But as my summer holiday ended with a jolt and a return to work yesterday, I started thinking about the concept of a ‘year’, as going back to work usually signals a start of a new year in my mind much more than 1 January. In considering this, I came to realise there are so many different ‘years’ in my calendar, that I decided to share my thoughts as a point of interest.
—There’s the obvious January to December 12 month measurement.
—My personal work year, where-in I count one year ending and another starting depending on when my summer holiday falls.
—The academic year I work to as an educator. This runs from September to August, although work for this obviously starts well before September, and is usually signified to me by returning to work after my summer holidays as mentioned above.
—The finical year April to March. Thankfully now I don’t take on so much self-employed work, I don’t have to fill out an annual tax form but I have to keep it at the back of my mind in case I ever do take on a well paid commission and I have to contact the tax office.
—My workplace, University Campus Suffolk, has its own finical year which runs from August to July. This means any budget I have responsibility for has to be spent by the end of July.
—Subscription year pt 1. One of the luxuries I consider of having a job that pays reasonably well is that I can afford several magazine subscriptions, such as to Eye, Creative Review, The Wire and Baseline. Eye and Baseline, the latter in particular, have a somewhat loose relationship to regular publishing dates, and I think my current annual subscription to Baseline has been active for nearly 2 years.
—Subscription year pt 2. Outside of magazines, there are professional memberships to keep topped up such as D&AD, Typographic Circle and Design History Society. The former is currently free with the fact that the BA (Hons) Graphic Design course at UCS is a member, and were it not a member, I’m not convinced I would see the worth in paying to be a member myself. Thankfully, over the years, (no pun intended), I’ve managed to stagger magazine and membership subscriptions so that as few as possible fall within the same month.
—Annual fees. These include paying for no ads and domain name mapping on WordPress, domain name and hosting renewals for other websites, and a variety of things that I’d forget if they weren’t programmed into Omnifocus on my phone and tablet.
—The football year. This doesn’t really register with me, not being the slightest bit interested in football other than knowing when home matches are as Ipswich is a massive football town and the traffic system grinds to a halt at certain times on a match day.
—Clocks changing year. With the soon to be drawing in summer, I look forward annually to Autumn, my favourite season, and the changing of the clocks signals this as much as the changing weather.
—The Chinese year which runs differently to our new year. The only reason I need to remember this is to wish the Chinese couple who run our local chip shop a happy new year when it comes around.
—Finally, not technically anything that affects me, but I’ve always been interested in the Ethiopian year since the time of Live Aid when I heard that Ethiopia follows a completely different monthly cycle to ours and, according to Wikipedia, it is actually 2006 there at the moment.
2006, that means I haven’t started work at University Campus Suffolk yet. I expect that won’t be a justifiable excuse for taking a slightly longer holiday and extending my year a little longer.